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Fears that despite major government investment Dutch stations will still be 60,000 bike parking places short by 2030

Chaos caused by overflowing bike racks around Dutch train stations is set to get worse in the coming years according to the Netherlands' railway infrastructure company, ProRail.

Dutch newspaper AD reports that the government’s €220m investment in 100,000 new bike racks will not be enough to stem the growing tide of cyclists - noting the country’s improving economy and its correlation with the swelling cyclist numbers.

Around half a million people in the Netherlands cycle to their local train station each day, amounting to about 40 per cent of all train passengers. ProRail predicts that the issue of overcrowded bike racks will get worse and by 2030 the nation will be 60,000 bike parking places short.

Wilma Mansveld, the Dutch secretary for infrastructure and the environment, told AD that the government’s €220m investment, which ProRail claims is not enough to prevent bike parks from overflowing, is at the limit of what the government can provide in funding to address the issue, and that further investment would have to come from local councils.

Mansveld is set to discuss the overcrowding problem with ProRail, the cyclists’ association Fietsersbond, and national train operator, NS, next year.

Bike racks are just one isue related to bicycle overcrowding in the Netherlands. A report by Dutch road safety body, VeiligheidNL, which we covered in April, said that Dutch cycle paths are at saturation point, too.

Their data showed an increase in the number of bike-on-bike cycle path collisions causing injuries that require a visit to A&E over the last three years.

Their research has lead to concerns about a growth in “anti-social” cycling and and worries that in some areas he cycle paths are approaching the limit of their capacity.

Elliot joined team road.cc bright eyed, bushy tailed, and straight out of university.

Raised in front of cathode ray tube screens bearing the images of Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, Elliot's always had cycling in his veins.
His balance was found on a Y-framed mountain bike around South London suburbs in the 90s, while his first taste of freedom came when he claimed his father's Giant hybrid as his own at age 16.

When Elliot's not writing for road.cc two wheels are still his favoured mode of transport; these days over the undulating streets of Madrid.

18 comments

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bikebot [1919 posts] 2 years ago
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Perhaps we could offer them some of our expertise on these infrastructure problems?

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NickK123 [93 posts] 2 years ago
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I am not sure our authorities would even recognise that there was a problem! Either that, or a discount supply of Nelson's Eyes seems to have been issued to all Councils.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycle paths too crowded? Why not paint some roads blue?  39

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don simon [762 posts] 2 years ago
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Why can't they simply design a bike that's able to carry 4 or 5 people? Put a roof and maybe some protective panels around the cyclists and if needed and, because of all the extra weight, they could even add an engine of some sort to help them move around more easily. They could puut in more comfortable seats and add various devices to help relieve the boredom while they're travelling.
I have seen the future.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1198 posts] 2 years ago
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I guess the cycling equivalent of the 'firstworldproblems' tag would be 'Dutchproblems'.

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GREGJONES [280 posts] 2 years ago
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220 million Euro is nothing to a country like the Netherlands. What's their annual budget for road maintenance?

At heart the problem is that rather like Britain their trying to retrofit the infrastructure.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 2 years ago
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don simon wrote:

Why can't they simply design a bike that's able to carry 4 or 5 people? Put a roof and maybe some protective panels around the cyclists and if needed and, because of all the extra weight, they could even add an engine of some sort to help them move around more easily. They could puut in more comfortable seats and add various devices to help relieve the boredom while they're travelling.
I have seen the future.

I've got one of those, minus the engine, so do loads of Dutch people. Your idea is old.  3

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Simple solution: stop charging people to take their bikes on trains and provide enough on- train spaces, then they won't park bikes at both ends of their train journeys and taker up two spaces.

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Wolfshade [187 posts] 2 years ago
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Sometimes I wish I were Dutch

#dutchproblems

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 2 years ago
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I work in Haarlem sometimes and they built an underground bike park under the station, its very impressive, I bet this cost a lot of dosh but is a nice way of solving the issue,

Unless you have been there and seen it you just cannot believe how many bikes are parked around, I think its fantastic what they have achieved, to me its a nice problem to have.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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a.jumper wrote:

Simple solution: stop charging people to take their bikes on trains and provide enough on- train spaces, then they won't park bikes at both ends of their train journeys and taker up two spaces.

If 40% of their commuters cycle to the station, storing bikes on trains is going to be a much bigger problem than parking them at stations.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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HKCambridge wrote:

If 40% of their commuters cycle to the station, storing bikes on trains is going to be a much bigger problem than parking them at stations.

In the extreme, goods vans would be cheaper than land and buildings, no?

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mrchrispy [452 posts] 2 years ago
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Solution is clear, they need to get more people off bike and into cars.

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Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Holland's got the same problem that too many people can't live where they work and therefore spend a good deal of time travelling by train or driving to work (you should see their mega motorways jammed up with cars every day - it's not a side they talk about much).
Given Dutch infrastructure, why still do so many use cars? it's still a massive problem and outside the bigger cities, most families still need a car, even if they don't use it quite as much as we do.
I've always maintained I will live where I work and not commute, when I broke that rule, I spent 2 hours next to my husband driving 12 miles because, the road was too dangerous to cycle and for two of us it was much cheaper than getting the train. I only took the job because there were no jobs where we could afford to live and it was where my husband worked so we could travel together.
Just like the UK, the Dutch need to look at how they can make not commuting so far more attractive.
We make travelling seem like the only option, there must be a better way.

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Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Holland's got the same problem that too many people can't live where they work and therefore spend a good deal of time travelling by train or driving to work (you should see their mega motorways jammed up with cars every day - it's not a side they talk about much).
Given Dutch infrastructure, why still do so many use cars? it's still a massive problem and outside the bigger cities, most families still need a car, even if they don't use it quite as much as we do.
I've always maintained I will live where I work and not commute, when I broke that rule, I spent 2 hours next to my husband driving 12 miles because, the road was too dangerous to cycle and for two of us it was much cheaper than getting the train. I only took the job because there were no jobs where we could afford to live and it was where my husband worked so we could travel together.
Just like the UK, the Dutch need to look at how they can make not commuting so far more attractive.
We make travelling seem like the only option, there must be a better way.

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GREGJONES [280 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree with Belaroo,

It s simple matter of zoning that councils pursue, keeping places of employment and residential places apart. This all made sense when the workplaces were dirty factories, but since a lot of that has since been exported a better integration of residential, commercial and light industrial units would reduce the need for travel.

For what it's worth I pay a premium to live in the center of Manchester and as a result can commute by bike to all of it, safe in the knowledge that I'll never need a car.

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levermonkey [664 posts] 2 years ago
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Am I the only one to spot this in the article..."noting the country’s improving economy and its correlation with the swelling cyclist numbers."

So! The more affluent people become, the more likely they are to ride a bike. I must remember this next time a car driver asks me if I want HIM to buy ME a car. My reply will now be "No thanks, Mate! Haven't you heard? Only poor people drive cars!"  4

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congokid [263 posts] 2 years ago
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a.jumper wrote:
HKCambridge wrote:

If 40% of their commuters cycle to the station, storing bikes on trains is going to be a much bigger problem than parking them at stations.

In the extreme, goods vans would be cheaper than land and buildings, no?

Probably, but the logistics of loading hundreds of bikes onto every train and unloading them, as well as loading/unloading dozens at each stop, might make the rail system impossible to run and not very efficient to use.